“Love is in the air,” sang John Paul Young, “everywhere I look around.” Firstly, whilst leads are not always in the air, they are everywhere. Across channels, across devices and at every stage in the sales funnel. With 96% of inbound leads failing to convert after web visit , the importance of an effective lead nurturing strategy is clear. Lead nurturing maximises every touch point to funnel a lead through to purchase. It is the process of and dialogue between a business and prospect focused on this singular sales aim.
Lead nurturing benefits
The benefits of lead nurturing are plenty. In a study by Forrester, it revealed that businesses see an average of 20% increase in sales opportunities from nurtured compared to non-nurtured leads . In addition, nurtured leads not only convert better but make larger purchases, spending up to 47% more than non-nurtured contemporaries . Lead nurturing protects the ROI of your marketing efforts and enhances your bottom line.
Despite clear revenue advantages of lead nurturing, 65% of B2B marketers have no lead nurturing strategy .
If you are part of this percentage or if you want to boost your funnel velocity, read below as Think Beyond share their top 5 nurture techniques to create that perfect match between your business and your prospects.
The Heart of the Matter: 5 lead nurturing techniques
1. Lead scoring
Firstly, lead scoring allows prioritisation of your hottest inbound leads and allocates resource accordingly.
The concept is simple. Customer web browsing habits, social media interactions and conversion actions are assigned a numeric value. This value determines where a prospect is in the sales funnel and what action further accelerates velocity through to purchase. The higher the value, the “hotter” a prospect is.
Lead scoring is an arguably underused nurture technique with only 21% of B2B companies utilising this tool . Get your lead scoring on track and your business will benefit from better sales productivity and you could also have a significant advantage over the competition.
2. Targeted content
If lead scoring allows you to determine what is hot or not, content is what turns up the dial and does the heavy lifting in lead nurturing.
Take time to understand your buyer personas and tailor content to nurture their interests, pain points and marketing triggers. Could a testimonial help that five time return visitor who matches your ideal customer to complete the sale? Or could a time-limited offer help that lead from a year ago finally convert?
Whatever content you create, the aim is targeted, specific and timely. This is the right time, right content, right persona triad.
It is not enough to rely solely on email drip campaigns if you want create an effective nurture strategy. Engage with your leads via a combination of email, social, direct mail, paid retargeting and direct sales. Think outside the email inbox and use all channels at your disposal to maximise your nurture efforts.
4. Sales and Marketing alignment
Your lead scoring, content and multichannel efforts need sales and marketing alignment. It is imperative that sales and marketing work as one team and are united as to what qualifies as MQL (marketing qualified lead) and SQL (sales qualified lead). Equally, they must collaborate on content creation and agree at what point a lead is passed from marketing to sales. The end result is clear, unified messaging and a flow of qualified leads.
Automation can supercharge your pipeline velocity and ensures that no lead is forgotten. Automate your grading, content delivery and list segmentation to create effective workflows that are highly personalised for the prospect and deliver efficiency savings for your sales team as time is not wasted on leads that are not sales ready. According to one study, companies that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months .
Maximise your nurture strategy with Think Beyond
Customer journeys are complex with 79% of leads never making it through to sales won . As part of your lead management process, lead nurturing helps you love your leads that little bit more. Nurture programmes educate your buyer personas and help build trust between prospects and your brand. Embrace lead nurturing and your business benefits from this extra love in the form of productive, efficient sales with less wastage on unqualified leads and increased revenue opportunities.
The need for lead nurturing is marked in B2B owing to the longer nature of purchase cycles (3-18 months). Without an effective lead nurture programme in place to maintain a dialogue and accelerate the path to conversion, valuable leads get lost and fall into the lap of your competitors.
With 68% yet to identify their sales funnel, you can see why integrating into the marketing plan is no mean feat .
Think Beyond partner with businesses on every element of marketing strategy. From research to planning, training through to providing board level Marketing Director as a Service (MDaaS), our marketers take your business further.
Also, to find out how we could work together on your success, call 01625 682110.
Finally, to request a call back from a member of the Think Beyond team, submit your details here.